Recently, we asked our newsletter readers if they are concerned about the knowledge that will be lost when retirement-age employees leave, and the resounding response was "yes."
While some of you reportedly have a plan to capture that knowledge before it walks out the door, others clearly need a plan. According to the Chicago Tribune, this "boomer brain drain" has been a top concern for several years, leading companies to contemplate how they will tackle the "knowledge transfer" that is desperately needed.
Lee Causey, a senior nuclear engineer, told the Chicago Tribune that one way to ensure this transfer of knowledge occurs is to open lines of communication between generations. According to the article, "the greener employees can't feel afraid to admit that there's something they don't know, and the veterans need to be willing to share what they do know."
According to Harvard Business Review, one thing that must be considered when facing this challenge are relationships. The relationships that a retiree has created have been built over years. A CTO told Harvard Business Review that a contact list is "just a list" without the experience of knowing when, why and how to contact some people.
Much of preparing the next generation comes down to training and the willingness of a company to invest in continuous training throughout an employee's career. Many companies are developing a curriculum to fight the skills gap. Some companies are even reconsidering the benefits they offer to attract newcomers and offer them ongoing training.